Five questions to ask a nonprofit before making a donation

On their Facebook page, Fourth Generation — the young professionals group of The Minneapolis Foundation — has posted a link to an article by Sean Stannard-Stockton, CEO of the Tactical Philanthropy Advisors firm and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Council on Philanthropy and Social Investing.

The article — which Fourth Generation says has been helpful to their grantmaking process — discusses questions donors should ask nonprofits before making a significant donation.

Stannard-Stockton details the importance of asking questions such as:

– On what research or evidence did the organization design its programs?
– What information does the nonprofit collect about the results of its programs?
– How does the organization systematically analyze the information it collects?

Read Stannard-Stockton’s advice at his Tactical Philanthropy blog

How do you choose which organizations to donate to each year? Tell us in the comment section below.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Tim Huebsch on 11/22/2010 - 09:42 am.

    Choosing the organizations that I support annually for me is really two fold. There are those organizations that I have ongoing relationships with that I continue to fund because they are doing great things for the community. I also look for new organizations that I have just found out about or have special fundraising projects.

    Over the last few years I have really enjoyed getting involved with Give to the Max Day as part of GiveMN ( It is a great site to learn more about organizations and each year have ended up giving to one or two additional groups that I had never given to in the past.

    One of the key pieces for me is looking at how I can leverage my donations to create root level change that is many times greater than the base amount that I give. The concept around this is really looking at it from a strategic philanthropy mindset to find ways to go towards the source and leverage my gift through matching funds or challenge grants. I wrote an article on this last year on the Leadership and Community site which might be interesting for you to read. (

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